Catamarans for rafting: what are there and how to choose

Organization and conduct of sailing trips

This article is an excerpt (chapter 7) from the manuscript of V. Beloozerov, V. Kuznetsov, V. Uspensky. "Sailing tourism (working title)".

Hiking is the quintessence of sailing tourism. The preparation and conduct of sailing trips have two distinct aspects: organizational and safety-related. It is from these main positions that the presentation in this chapter is conducted. At the same time, some other important aspects remain outside the framework: aesthetic, cultural, psychological. However, it seems to us that it is better to investigate such questions separately.

Methodological foundations of sailing trips

According to the existing norms in force in the system of sports tourism, sailing trips are carried out in accordance with the general "Rules for conducting tourist sports trips", as well as special "Rules for conducting water tourist sports trips on collapsible sailing vessels". It should be emphasized that this refers to sports trips that have certain characteristics of difficulty (which are discussed below) and clearly regulated. Participation in one or several of these campaigns or the leadership of them gives grounds for assigning sports categories and titles.

In addition to sports, there are other hikes: non-categorical (that is, not completely corresponding to sports in some indicators - the length of the path, the composition of the group, etc.) and training, usually called weekend hikes. In principle, these trips are completely full-fledged and useful for the growth of the participants' qualifications, which ultimately depends on the amount of miles traveled under sail, but they have only the difference and limitation that they do not count towards the sports categories. Therefore, in such trips, it is necessary, if possible, to comply with all the requirements, especially those related to the safety of navigation. There are cases when experienced tourists, who walked difficult routes along distant seas, suffered severe accidents (overclocking in cold weather, landing with a mast on wires) in their small "home" water area.

Understanding the difficulty of the hike

According to the difficulty of the conditions, sailing trips are divided into five categories of difficulty, of which the first is the simplest. The general idea for all tourism is that the captains of ships who want to go on difficult trips should gradually, 1-2 routes per season, go through their entire range of increasing difficulty, without missing a single step. For sailors, an indulgence is made: some of them can jump over one step and, say, after a hike of the 2nd category, go to the 4th category. The requirement for a continuous and gradual increase in experience and qualifications is caused by the sole considerations of safety and is called upon to ensure it.

The difficulty categories of sailing trips are established mainly based on the wind-wave conditions of the reservoir (the strength and direction of the prevailing winds and the nature of the waves during the trip, the width and depth in the area of ​​the route). In addition, the geographical features of the area (expected water and air temperature, the nature of the shores, the presence of currents and tides, the presence of fresh water) are taken into account, as well as the hydrographic knowledge of the area, the intensity of navigation, the complexity of navigation conditions, the presence of settlements. These metrics can increase or decrease complexity.

Table 1 shows numerical data characterizing various categories of complexity.

Indicators Categories of difficulty of hikes IIIIIIIVV Characteristic width of the reservoir, km up to 5 to 40 to 200 not limited not limited The greatest distance from the coast when crossing open spaces, km 0.5381550 The highest wind speed allowed for sailing, m/sec. (wind strength in points) 5-6 (3+) 6-7 (4) 7-8 (4+) 8-9 (5) 12-13 (6) Length, km 150 200 300 400 500

In reality, the routes on Lake Seliger, Ivankovskoe reservoir on the Volga (Staritsa - Dubna) belong to the I category of complexity (c.); to II grade. - a circular route along the Pskov and Teply or Peipsi lakes, along the bays of Lake Onega (Medvezhyegorsk - Kondopoga); to III grade. - along the open part of Lake Onega (Pyalma - Ascension), Lake Ladoga (Osinovets - Pitkyaranta), the Sea of ​​Azov (Berdyansk - Cape Kazantip); to IV grade. - along the lips of the White Sea (Onega - Kem - Gridino) and to the V grade. - across the open White Sea (Arkhangelsk - Solovki - Kem - Gridino). It should be borne in mind that these routes correspond to the indicated category of difficulty only in the summer season, during the period of relatively warm water and a reduced likelihood of strong winds. In spring and autumn, their difficulty increases by one category.

The main thing that is required for rafting on catamarans is the vessel itself, but choosing it is not as easy as it might seem at first. The preferences of water workers depend on global goals, as well as on numerous nuances that ensure the compliance of the watercraft with the desired characteristics. Before buying, you need to determine exactly what it is for.

  • Calm recreational rafting
  • Hiking on rivers of different difficulty categories
  • Competitions
  • Sailing trips
  • Fishing

There are much more details and features of choosing a catamaran, for example, the shape and volume of the cylinders, the type of landing, the design of the frame and deck, the number of passengers and a number of others.

Briefly about the choice

Now it is easy to find any kind of rafting catamaran on sale: motor, sailing, hiking, sports. However, such a narrow specification may not be to the liking of lovers of diversity, because it often happens that tourists go on a serious categorical hike in the summer, on weekends or holidays they want to warm up on an uncomplicated river in their region, and next season they are going to relax without extreme.

  • Inflatable sailing models must at least hold the sail, and also be stable, manageable, comfortable to accommodate the crew and their luggage. Often they are equipped with a motor, which allows them to move without problems in calm weather.
  • Sports catamarans for competitions must have agility and speed, agility. They also thrive on calm waters. If desired, some models can be equipped with a sail or motor. Such multitasking provides them with an increased demand, including from the part of novice water tourists.
  • Hiking should be appropriate for the difficulty of the upcoming route. Convenience in transportation, reliability on the water, ease of assembly and repair are especially important.
  • Floating models do not tolerate wind, which makes it difficult to move over large areas without current, so tourists put a motor or a small detachable sail on them. Of course, such vessels are not suitable for passing difficult rapids.

There is no universal catamaran that would be suitable for any rafting. For this reason, water workers are successfully finalizing ready-made structures. We will deal with the types of catamarans in detail in order to make the right choice.

Sailing catamarans

It is expensive to own a sailing yacht. It is necessary to register it, store it somewhere, and sometimes transport it. The inflatable sailing catamaran solves all of the above problems. In addition to the obligatory floats and deck, its design includes sails that differ in shape, size and quantity. As a small vessel, it does not require registration with the State Inspectorate for Information Systems (GIMS).

It's easy to operate, that's why more and more watercraft, whose destiny was previously exclusively sailing, are becoming tourist. Of course, you can't go far out to sea on them, but such tasks are usually not set for them.


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